Amid maneuvers to weaken the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the anticorruption body on Tuesday named former president director of now-defunct Pertamina Energy Trading Ltd (Petral) Bambang Irianto a corruption suspect in oil and gas business.
Bambang allegedly committed wrongdoings when he was the managing director of Pertamina Energy Service Pte Ltd (PES) between 2009 and 2013.
He allegedly received at least US$2.9 million in bribes between 2010 and 2013 through a bank account of a company that he established identified as SIAM.
“BTO [Bambang] is suspected of receiving $2.9 million from Kernel Oil in exchange for giving the company preferential treatment during the tender selection for the cargo of crude oil that will be purchased by PES or Pertamina,” KPK deputy chairman Laode M. Syarif told a press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Laode said the case took a long time to progress, from investigation to identifying the suspect, because the flow of bribes transferred to Bambang’s account occurred in a number of countries.
“In order to avoid being suspected of bribing their way to winning raw oil purchases, Bambang instructed both Pertamina and PES to purchase oil from a Dubai-based oil company called Emirates National Oil Company [ENOC].
On paper, it looked like Pertamina and PES had purchased oil from ENOC. On the contrary, the oil stock actually came from Kernel Oil, which then received payments that were addressed to ENOC.
Previously, then-commissioner and operational manager of PT Kernel Oil Indonesia, Simon Gunawan, was sentenced to 3 years in prison and a fine of Rp 200 million ($14,235) in 2013.
The KPK advises multinational corporations operating in Indonesia to refrain from bribing government officials in order to win tender slots.
“We ask multinational companies operating in Indonesia to monitor their employees closely and ensure that they perform good corporate governance. The same goes for state-owned company [BUMN] officals,” said KPK spokesperson Febri Diansyah on Tuesday.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo liquidated Petral in 2015 as the company was reportedly used to enrich particular oil and gas business players including Bambang Irianto.